Yes, it was bought and installed in my 1931 Model-A in June of 2001. Overnight charging brought it up to 6.4 volts this year but the voltage kept dropping to 4.2 overnight, so I guess it's time to replace it. My secret to longevity: never let the battery discharge fully, keep it on a trickle charge during periods of inactivity (winter here in CT) and keep the water levels above the plates. Can anyone top this service from their car battery?
I thought I was doing well to get seven years (84 months) service out of the reproduction Group 27 battery in my 1971 Plymouth GTX.
I replaced the battery in my Beetle once, not because it was failing, but I was concerned about it lasting through another winter in an unheated garage in Norway. The guy at the store tested it and thought it to be O. K., but he thought better of it when I told him it was going into storage. I asked if he could tell by the markings on it how old it was, and he told me 14 years. Don't know how much longer it would have lasted if it had been kept in regular service, but it just may have been a record. The car was only driven a few weeks every year when I was on summer vacation, and I never had a charger on it.
Not all batteries last the same. I have a neighbor with a spare car that gets started once a year to get the caravan out. The car drains the battery quickly when sitting and for several years it was always left in the car dead flat until needed. I have a bank of batteries on my bench and I charge them about once a week for an hour or two. I offered to bring his battery home and look after it for him until needed, I use it in the odd car for a bit, last summer i sat it on a 30 deg angle in my ride on lawnmower. Was well used when I brought it home in 2010 and its a freak, still going strong?
I may have shared this story before, but here it is anyway:
In 1992 we purchased a new '92 Ford van conversion. If it wsn't the highest priced vehicle on the dealership lot that day it was certainly in the top three.
Two years and one month later my wife called from work to tell me the battery in the van went dead. I thought, "No problem. It's only two years old. The warranty will cover all or at least most of it." Wrong. When I got to the dealer and had them check it out I was informed that the battery was indeed toast and that it carried a 24 month warranty. What battery would I like to purchase?
I went bug. I diplomatically asked how it is that a 24 month battery is installed in a brand new top of the line vehicle. I suggested the person responsible for such a decision should seek professional help. I made a few other comments intended to discourage such behavior in the future.
Of course none of this did me any good. I went elsewhere to buy a battery. I have not and will never do business with that dealership again. I will also never get caught in that situation again.
Ive had great service from Ford Motocraft batteries. My 04 F-250 is still on its original,I replaced the original one in my 06 F-150 this spring as a precaution as my wife puts a lot of miles on it with my grandsons. I still use it as a back up jumper. The one in my 91 F-150 lasted well over 10 years. I finally replaced that one as I didn't want to get stuck somewhere with it. I bought one for my 68 F-250 Motor-home over 10 years ago and it is still going
Henry I had the same issue with a new Jetski I brought in 96. I stored over the winter and wasn't until it got hot I got it out, similar to you, it was 12 months and 1 week old and they wouldn't fix/replace it.
I went to a local battery shop, these batteries are Jel filled and expensive. I told the guy I'm not buying one every year and he advised me to take it out of the Ski when stored the next winter, keep on the bench top and not on the floor as cold concrete ruins them and charge it on low/trickle for about 1 hr a week. The new battery was the exact same brand and model as the first one. By doing this the 2nd battery lasted 12 years! 4 of those years the Ski/battery never got used. Sometimes I would forget and leave the charger on for a few days etc, it made no difference. This experience taught me hence the system I have described above, a row of batteries stored on a wooden bench and I just change them over every time I go past.
I bought a '95 BMW M-3 eight years ago, when it was 12 years old. I replaced its original battery at 15 years, which is 180 months, but I don't know which month my car was built. I was very surprised that a battery would last that long, but I guess it shows to go you that they can make long-lasting ones if they want to.
My experience with other car batteries is that if it's a 5-year battery, it will last 5 years.
I got 10 years out of my last Model T battery. The secret is not to overcharge, and to always maintain the terminal voltage when the car is not in use.
I also have a 12V 10A SLA battery bought second hand back in 1990. Always kept at 13.8V, it's still going well today.
I have routinely gotten more than 10 years out of my Farm and Fleet batteries for my T but that is because the battery basically does nothing but start the T and then it gets recharged to full within a few minutes and the rest of the time is just on float charge since my T runs on Magneto and I just never drive the thing at night. Long life should be common with a T if you have a means of making sure your battery is not overcharged or undercharged - ever! I learned a lot about what makes lead acid batteries last for years and years. I learned that because I was designing telephone equipment that ran on batteries and I also designed parts of those battery plant chargers and the phone company paid a ton of $$$ for those large batteries in the telephone office basement. They expected to get 20+ years from them and they did. My experience was with the charging equipment rather than the batteries themselves but I learned quickly what the battery wanted in order to live a long life.
Wow! Good to know there are others out there who have experienced long life batteries. Given the expense of these batteries today, it is wise to get your money's worth. I would tend to believe it is how the batteries were treated rather than how they were built.
John, I remember those C.O. Batteries and those thermometers that were monitored also. Is temperature an indication of over charging or overload?
I disagree with your comment, "...it is how batteries are treated rather than how they were built." In my modern cars with 12 volt systems, cars that were and are in daily family use, nearly always the battery fails within three months of warranty expiration. This is simply the result of very good engineering. They are designed to last a prescribed period of time in a prescribed use and are priced accordingly.
At the moment I have about 20 either cars, trucks, pickups, tractors, swathers, 4 wheelers, motorcycles, boats and jet skis with batteries in them. Anything I drive and depend on to start whenever I need it to start gets a new battery at 3 years, I don't care how good it tests. I use the batteries I pull out in older equipment but am too impatient and too busy to fool around testing batteries and jump starting equipment. Batteries are cheap considering what all they do and the punishment they take.
I used to replace the alternator and starter in any vehicle I was driving and had to depend on at 100,000 along with the belts that drive the accessory equipment.
My best luck with batteries in recent years has been the Duracell from Batteries Plus. I've bought a dozen or so in the last year for various equipment and vehicles. No problems so far.
I bought two Tuesday, one for a pickup and one for a New Holland swather. This summer I have bought about half a dozen 6 volt from them, best 6 volts I've seen in years and have a two year full replacement warranty as opposed to the 6 months most other brands have on 6 volt.
Have a Duracell battery in every vehicle I own except the new Subaru - which still has the factory battery in it - the 98 Dodge pickup which came with a new Interstate and the Ford Ranger, which came with a Les Schwab POS in it.
Pleasant surprise. I bought a 91 Ford Ranger for one of my buddies to drive that ran out of transportation. Alternator didn't charge right so I told the dealer they would have to replace/repair or I wouldn't buy it. Went and picked it up last night, rebuilt alternator, new Megatron Interstate battery and new cables. No charge. Good dealer.
Ah,- Duracell; in the last few years the quality of their alkaline batteries has gone seriously downhill. We have had quite a few leaking that were still within the date printed on them. Even had some leak unused in the package with two years till expiration. Definitely not buying Duracell any more!
That said; I see many are getting good service out of lead-acid batteries by taking good care of them. As I said, I got 14 years out of one, and I can't say I pampered it. Drove it a few weeks in the summer when on vacation, and it sat the rest of the year in an unheated garage in a cold climate and never saw a charger. Just lucky?
I understand that there are only 3 manufacturers of batteries sold in the U.S. They are labeled with whatever name the seller wants. K-Mart, Pep Boyz, NAPA, AutoZone, and Sears, could all be selling the same box. I believe Duracell is not a manufacturer. If one has the $$$ to replace your fleet of batteries every 3 years, it is a good practice for dependability, but many in the old car hobby try to get the maximum service for their investment. Good maintenance goes a long way for durability in the human body, cars, and as I profess, your battery. Thanks for all the comments!